The Olympic Games demonstrate the unity of mankind through sport and provide fans with the opportunity to see local, state, national and international Olympians achieve their dream. Consider the years of effort and sacrifices that the athletes and their families have made to compete at the Olympic level. After earning the opportunity to compete in the Olympics it is a proud moment for an athlete to stand on the awards podium while their country’s flag is raised and their national anthem is played for the world.
When you hear the “Star-Spangled Banner,” please stand facing the flag with your right hand over your heart. If you are wearing a hat, remove it with your right hand and hold the hat on your left shoulder with your hand over your heart. When the flag is not displayed, face toward the music and act in the same manner as you would if the flag were displayed.
While you listen to the “Star-Spangled Banner,” think about the dedication and hard work it took for the athlete to realize their dream. Think also about the generations of American men and women that have served or are serving in the military and the sacrifices they have made to protect our country so that all Americans have the opportunity to achieve their dreams. Military personnel deserve respect, gratitude and support when they are on the battlefield or at home.
Success for an athlete or a country comes from dedication and sacrifice. Consider what it takes to get on the awards podium or to protect the freedoms and citizens of our country. Neither is easy to achieve and should not be taken for granted. Cheer loud and proud for all of Team USA.